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# Review of River

## What we will cover

Review of basic open channel flow concepts
How HEC-RAS calculates water surface
profiles
Data required for river models

## Basic Open Channel Flow Concepts

Energy Principles
Cross Section Subdivision for Conveyance
Computational Procedure
Critical Depth Determination
Momentum Equation
Cross Section Spacing
1D Model Limitations

## The Energy Equation

V22
2g

Energy
Water
Su

he

Line

rface

V12
2g

WS2
Cha

nne

l Bo

WS1

tt om

Datum

WS 2

2 V22
2g

WS1

1 V12
2g

he

Velocity Distribution
Factors influencing velocity distribution:
Shape of the cross section
Roughness of the boundaries
Presence of bends
Contractions and expansions
Flow obstructions, such as bridge piers, etc
Use to account for kinetic energy for cross section

Section
V12
2g

V
2g

A2, Q2

A1, Q1

Q V

2
1 1

V22
2g

## Q2 V22 ... QN VN2

2

V QT

Energy Losses
For steady flow two types of losses are taken into
account:
Friction
Contraction and Expansion

he L S f C

2
2V2

2g

2
1V1

2g

## Cross Section Subdivision for

Conveyance Calculations
What is Conveyance?
Mannings Equation:

Q = K Sf 1/2
Conveyance K is:
K = (1.486/n) A R2/3

Conveyance Calculations
HEC-RAS Default Method

n1
A1 P1

n2
A2 P2

n3

Ach Pch

Klob = K1 + K2

n4
A3 P3

Krob = K3
Kch

Computational Procedure
Water Surface Guess
1. The first guess of the water surface: downstream depth
projected onto upstream cross section.
2. Second guess:
WSnew = WSassumed + 0.7 (WScomputed - WSassumed)
3. Subsequent Trials: Secant projection method
4. If secant method fails:
WSnew = (WSassumed + WScomputed) / 2

Computational Procedure
Tolerances and Trials
Default tolerances and trial settings:
- Water surface calculation tolerance = 0.01 ft
(0.0001 - 0.1)
- Maximum difference tolerance = 0.3 ft (0.1 - 1.0)
- Maximum number of iterations = 20 trials (3 - 40)
What happens if there is no convergence after 20 trials?
- If 0.01 < minimum error < 0.3 ft, then use water
surface with minimum error.
- If minimum error >= 0.3 ft, then default to critical
depth.
Note: Minimum error is the error associated with the best guess of
the water surface during the 20 trials.

## Critical Depth Determination

Critical Depth will be computed for a cross section if any of the
following conditions are satisfied:
Program could not balance the energy equation within specified
tolerance and number of trials.
Calculated water surface is close to critical depth.
Supercritical flow regime is being calculated.
Cross section is an external boundary section.
User requested critical depth as an output option.

## Critical Depth Determination

Critical depth is found by computing minimum specific
energy.
HEC-RAS has two methods for computing critical
depth.
Parabolic Method - built for speed
Slicing Method - built for accuracy

## Critical Depth - Procedure

Program uses Parabolic Method by Default
This can be changed to the Slicing method
Program automatically switches to slicing method if any
of the following occur:
Parabolic method fails to get answer within tolerance
Parabolic answer is at or near top of levee or
ineffective flow area

## Critical Depth - Local Minimum

Water
Surface
Elevation
Top of Levee or ineffective flow

Local minimum
energy

WScri
t

Hmin

Total Energy H

Momentum Equation
Fx = m a
2

P2
0 W

Wx
Z2
Datum

Ff

P1

L
Z1

Momentum Equation
P 2 - P 1 + Wx - F f = Q p V x
Where:
P = Hydrostatic Pressure
Wx = Force due to weight of water in x-direction
Ff = Force due to external friction from 2 to 1
Q = Discharge
p = Density of water
Vx = Change in velocity from 2 to 1 in x-direction

## Momentum Equation - Forces

P AY
Wx W sin

Pressure:
Weight:

Friction:

A1 A2
Wx
L S0
2

Ff p L
A1 A2
Sf L
2

Where:

RSf

Ff

Mass x acceleration:

Q
1 V1 2 V2
ma
g

Momentum Equation
The momentum equation and principles are used in
HEC-RAS for the following:
Mixed flow regime calculations - locating hydraulic
jumps
Low flow bridge hydraulics
Stream junction analysis - optional method

## Cross Section Spacing

Cross sections should be placed at representative
locations to describe the changes in geometry.
where changes occur in discharge, slope, velocity,
and roughness.
Cross sections must also be added at levees, bridges,
culverts, and other structures.

## Cross Section Spacing - Slope

Bed slope plays an important role in cross section
spacing.
Steeper slopes require more cross sections
Streams flowing under supercritical flow may
require cross sections on the order of 50 feet or
less.
Larger uniform rivers with flat slopes may only
require cross sections on the order of 1000 ft or
less.

Cross Section Spacing How do you know if you have enough sections?
Use the HEC-RAS cross section interpolation.
Make a new plan and run the model.
Compare before and after results

Model Limitations
Limitations of the One-Dimensional energy
equation:
Flow is steady with respect to time.
Flow is gradually varied with respect to
distance.
Dominant forces are in the X-direction.
Channel slopes should be less than 1:10.
Other limitations
Real world flows are not 1-D flow but 3-D

Recap
In this lecture we reviewed:
Data required for river models